A Week Where Everything Is About To Happen

by Sam Black

Those of you who follow my column know that I don’t plan the multitude of arts activities that happen in the greater Duluth region. I simply look at what’s happening and make choices about what I might attend, and usually enjoy. For a lot of reasons surrounding the 4th of July in the United States, national celebrations outnumber local celebrations for several days. But the excitement is that in our region the arts are going to happily explode in the next couple of weeks.

Brand New Paintings, thanks to the Duluth Art Institute

The Duluth Art Institute is hosting the Third Annual Plein Aire Duluth: Paint du Nord this very week. Artists will have been at Lincoln Park, the Zoo, and Glensheen during the week, with a celebrated opening of all these new paintings on Friday, July 14 from 5 - 7pm at Blacklist Artisan Ales, 120 E. Superior St., Duluth. These paintings will be on view through the 27th of August, so drop by, try the ale, and enjoy what these artists have freshly created.

Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra at 30 years and still fresh

The Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra opens its 2017 season on Thursday, July 13, at Weber Music Hall on the UMD Campus, featuring Thomas Pfotenhauer with three trumpet works covering as many centuries. This 7:30pm concert is the first of four on successive Thursday evenings.

Tanner Hagen as Billy Elliot at The Duluth Playhouse
Tanner Hagen as Billy Elliot at The Duluth Playhouse

The Duluth Playhouse brings Billy Elliot front and center

Also on Thursday the 13th, the Duluth Playhouse opens with the relatively new musical (2005)  Billy Elliot, created by Elton John and Lee Hall, based on a an initial 2000 film version. As a mining strike interrupts a family’s life, a young boy, Billy, rejects learning how to be a boxer by choosing to be a ballet dancer instead. Through a series of struggles, his father comes to accept Billy’s choices as a way of escaping a tough life. While only slightly known in Duluth, this musical won ten Tony Awards when it appeared in New York City in 2009. You do not want to miss this brilliant new addition to the world of musical theater.

Preparations for Avant Garden, Duluth Loves Local, July 15, 2017
Preparations for Avant Garden, Duluth Loves Local, July 15, 2017

Glensheen offers local foods, and a lovely evening

This coming Saturday evening, July 15, you can splurge a bit and enjoy an amazing five course, farm to table sumptuous dinner feast at the Glensheen Mansion. Food, wine, entertainment with a closing bonfire might make a perfect Duluth evening in mid-July. Visit the Glensheen website for more information.

Music and art up on the Iron Range has a powerful July

At the Lyric Theater in Virginia, the artwork of Daniel Atyim is on display through July 29. His curious blend of color and abstraction is certainly fascinating at first glance.

Around the corner in Aurora, the Northern Lights Music Festival is in motion through July 21. Their website can provide details of opera, chamber, and orchestral events taking place in the center of our Iron Range. This is spectacular music within 90 minutes of the Duluth community. 

Read The Reader Duluth for even more opportunities

It doesn’t matter which way you choose to drive, you can find local art galleries and performances of drama and music every day of a perfect Duluth summer. As you look through the pages of each issue of The Reader you will find more opportunities than you can take in. Flip through this paper several times and take in the great variety of festivals occuring in Duluth, Superior, and scattered across Northeastern Minnesota. Enjoy all the local art you come across, and I’ll share more as I travel the region in the coming weeks.